Condoleezza Rice to Perform with Aretha Franklin; Eminem Dominates Billboard Chart

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BY MARY MORNINGSTAR FOR VOA NEWS – Grammy-winning singer Al Jarreau was admitted to a hospital in France on July 23 due to respiratory problems.  The 70-year-old is in intensive care, but is reported to be conscious and breathing without assistance.  Maurice Marchetti, deputy director of the hospital, said doctors are unsure what caused Jarreau’s problems, but they suspect fatigue and the altitude of the French Alps could be to blame.

Franklin, Rice Team Up for Concert


On July 27, Aretha Franklin and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will perform a concert together at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Rice will play piano for Franklin on some of her classic hits and also perform a classical set with the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Proceeds will benefit programs for inner city children and the Mann Center’s education initiatives.

Billboard’s 200 Chart Features New Albums

Six new albums debut in the Top 10 on this week’s Billboard 200 chart.  Korn enters at Number 2 with “Korn III: Remember Who You Are,” the Newsboys’ “Born Again” comes in at Number 4, Sting debuts at Number 6 with “Symphonicities,” Jerrod Neimann lands on the list at Number 7 with “Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury,” Hellyeah’s “Stampede” enters at Number 8 and M.I.A. debuts at Number 9 with “Maya.”

Eminem Dominates Billboard Album Chart

Eminem's Recovery album

In other chart news, Eminem continues to rule the Billboard 200 with “Recovery.”  The album spends its fourth week at the top by selling another 195,000 copies, which brings its four-week sales total to 1,482,000.  And, Country newcomer Jerrod Niemann’s debut album, “Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury,” enters Billboard’s Country Albums chart this week at Number One.  That position has been held for the past six months by Lady Antebellum and their “Need You Now” album.  Jerrod becomes the first male solo artist to score a Number One Country album since October 2009, when Tim McGraw landed in the top spot with “Southern Voice.”

Festival Honors Hollywood Walk of Fame

On July 25, the 50th anniversary of the Hollywood Walk of Fame was marked with a day-long festival.  The “King of Swing” Louis Prima received a posthumous star on the Walk of Fame to coincide with what would have been his 100th birthday.  The late jazz trumpeter’s son, Louis Prima Jr, performed at the event.  Also this week, actor Mark Wahlberg will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  His ceremony takes place on July 29.

Natalie Cole to Publish Memoir

Natalie Cole

Singer Natalie Cole is working on a memoir that will be published in November.  The book, titled “Love Brought Me Back: A Journey of Loss and Gain,” will include memories of her father Nat “King” Cole, and details about her 2009 kidney transplant surgery and the death of her adopted sister, actress Carole “Cookie” Cole.

New Album Releases July 27

“The Dark Side” by Fat Joe
“Indrupendence Day” by Dru Hill
“Give It To Me” by (2008 “American Idol” Top 10 finalist) Michael Sarver
“Without Regret” by Kimberly Caldwell
“Couldn’t Stand the Weather” by Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
“Praise & Blame” by Tom Jones
“Transatlantic RPM” by Incognito
“Dio” by Jorn
“Cookin’ In Mobile” by The Robert Cray Band

Look Who’s Going On Tour!

On July 26, Creed kicked off its “Creed 2010 Tour” in Nashville, Tennessee.  The concerts will likely be the most affordable of the year.  Ticket prices are set at $10 for lawn seats and $20 for reserved seats.  And, the first 2,010 ticket buyers will not be charged a service fee.

Pollstar recently released a list of the top-grossing tours in the first half of 2010.  Bon Jovi leads all touring acts by bringing in $52.8 million.   James Taylor and Carole King’s “Troubadour Reunion” tour ranks at Number 2 with $41 million.  Rounding out the Top 5 are Taylor Swift ($34.2 million), Paul McCartney ($31.6 million) and George Strait ($29.8 million).